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Covering Climate Now Highlights Solutions for Earth Week

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Environmental activists holding cilantro attend a protest in Zucotti Park on Earth Day on April 22, 2014 in New York City. John Moore / Getty Images

The devastating reality of the coronavirus pandemic has increased people's hunger for good news, as The New York Times reported April 14, leading to significant increases in Google searches and follower counts for good news accounts. Just in time, Covering Climate Now (CCNow) is here to meet that need with a week of coverage devoted to climate solutions.




The week of coverage, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, will run from April 19 to 26. It will amass stories from CCNow's more than 400 partner news organizations—with a total audience of nearly two billion people—to shine a light on how we can collectively address the climate crisis, from technological innovations like solar panels to policy moves like carbon pricing to activism and local and corporate initiatives.

"Whatever stories your newsroom decides to tell, our collective effort will constitute a solution in its own right," the organization wrote. "As the Canadian climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe says, the most important thing to do about climate change is to talk about it."

CCNow was founded in April 2019 by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation, in association with The Guardian, in an effort to improve the quantity and quality of climate coverage. It helps its partner news organizations do this by providing best practices and story ideas, hosting conferences, sharing climate stories that partners can republish for free, publicizing its partners' best climate content and organizing coverage weeks like this one.

Its first coverage week was held during the lead-up to the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019 and generated at least 3,640 stories, according to the Columbia Journalism Review. News outlets said the week succeeded in encouraging them to run more climate stories than they otherwise would have.

"We ended up doing more than two dozen stories that wouldn't have run except for this initiative," a senior editor at Bloomberg told the Columbia Journalism Review.

CCNow's partners range from major wire services like Bloomberg and Reuters to local newspapers and magazines, plus websites like BirdWatching and Literary Hub. EcoWatch is also a partner.

There are lots of solutions stories planned for the coming coverage week. Some examples include:

  • A Guardian story about Microsoft's plan to go "carbon negative" by 2030.
  • A Nation interview with Michael Pollan about whether psychedelics can treat climate grief.
  • A Reuters profile of a Hong Kong restaurant that runs without food waste.
  • A Times of India piece about how the coronavirus lockdown is leading to cleaner air.

"In the coming days, the Covering Climate Now partners will collectively publish hundreds of stories on climate solutions to create a groundswell of hope at a moment when the world feels bleak," The Guardian wrote in its coverage announcement.

But the coverage will still be rigorous.

"To be clear, highlighting solutions does not mean cheerleading or drifting into activism," CCNow wrote. "Our role as journalists is to report, to explain, to analyze, and to hold the powerful to account. But it is high time the media framing of the climate story shifts from a paralyzing gloom and doom to a clear-headed focus on how to get out of this mess."

This story is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

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